Language Requirements

The majority of programs at Cape Breton University are taught in English. Students need strong English communication, listening, comprehension, reading and writing skills to be successful at Cape Breton University.

Cape Breton University has strong relationships with several english language partners including ICEAP Nova Scotia, English School of Canada (ESC), EC English Language School and ILAC. If your first language is not English, you will need to provide documentation to show that CBU’s English language proficiency requirements have been met. See the requirements below.


English Language Scores

Official Testing Scores: 

Please arrange to have test results sent to Cape Breton University from one of the following agencies:

  • TOEFL score of 550 (paper test), 213 (computer test), or 80 (internet test): www.ets.org 
  • IELTS Academic (and IELTS Indicator) score of 6.5 with no band below 6.0: www.ielts.org
  • CAEL score of 60 (this includes CAEL Online): www.cael.ca.
  • MELAB score of 85: www.melab.ca
  • Pearson PTE (Academic) score of 59: www.pearsonpte.com
  • CanTEST score of 4.5 (reading & listening), 4.0 (writing): www.cantest.ca
  • Duolingo English Test score of 115 for undergraduate programs, diplomas and certificates. Score of 120 for Master of Business Administration, Bachelor of Education and post-baccalaureate diplomas: https://englishtest.duolingo.com/home 

 *Scores should be sent to internationaladmissions@cbu.ca directly from the testing language body. Language scores that have been sent by students will not be accepted.

English Proficiency Exemption 

If you have completed at least two years in a secondary school (as recognized by CBU) or have completed at least 30 credit hours (or equivalent) at a post-secondary institution (as recognized by CBU) where English is the primary language of instruction, you are not required to submit a language score. Official documentation will be required to confirm this period of study was in English.

Please note: If you meet the English Proficiency Exemption and you submit a language score anyway, your score will be assessed against the minimum score requirements listed above. If you meet the English Proficiency Exemption and have submitted a score that falls below the minimum score requirements above, your application will be deemed inadmissible. To be considered for re-admission, an Official Test Score must be submitted at or above the minimums score requirements above.

In all cases, Cape Breton University reserves the right to require proof of language proficiency before permission will be granted to register in academic courses.

Country Specific Requirements 

The are minimum credential requirements by country.